Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Stormont Assembly Results – McCann has a chance in Foyle

with 7 comments

John Meehan offers preliminary views on the Stormont Assembly first count results

The spin and chat is about Sinn Féin and Democratic Unionist Party gains in the 2011 Stormont Assembly Elections  –

hold the horses!

The first preference totals above show very small changes in the first preference vote shares gained by the main parties.  It follows, as night comes after day, we are very unlikely to  see a lot of movement in final party totals, once all 108 seats are filled.

One to watch for the left is the Derry City result – the Foyle constituency, where Éamonn McCann is the only far-left candidate in contention for a seat.

Éamonn got 3120 first preferences, 8.0% of the poll – after the first count he is in sixth place – if the candidates below McCann can not overtake him, People Before Profit will have elected representatives in both Leinster House and Stormont – no small achievement.

What should we watch for?

The first thing to understand is that the art of vote management means keeping all your candidates close together below the quota.  In Foyle the SDLP has done this – with 35.3 per cent of the first preferences they are guaranteed two seats, and may get a third.

That is bad news for McCann – but his good news is that Sinn Féin, which got 34 per cent of the first preferences, just below the SDLP, has managed its vote badly.

The people running the BBC website have not published the quota, but I worked it out : 5550 (*)

Martina Anderson of SF was 1400 votes over the quota, and most of these spare votes will transfer to her two SF running mates – Paul Fleming and Raymond McCartney.  Fleming is 508 votes behind McCann on the first count – if he can not overtake the PBP candidate after the Anderson transfer, and stay ahead in the following counts, he will eventually be eliminated leaving McCann still in the race.  The Sinn Féin transfers will then favour either McCann or the remaining SDLP candidate fighting for the last seat – probably either Eastwood or Callaghan – and the red side may have one seat out of 108 in Stormont.

No wonder Éamonn, a naturally gregarious and amiable guy, shook the hand of Martina Anderson after she got elected way over the quota on the first count!


===============* – you divide the total number of first preferences  38,847 by the total number of seats – 6 – plus 1.38847 divided by 7 = 5549 – add 1, there is the quota, 5550,==============================================

Results from West and South Belfast show that People Before Profit candidates – especially Gerry Carroll in West Belfast (1661, 4.8 per cent) – polled much better that far-left rivals.

Written by tomasoflatharta

May 7, 2011 at 9:50 am

Posted in Ireland

7 Responses

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  1. As we wait, great video from Mark Mcfadden of UTV :

    See also unintentional light relief offered by the poster styling himself “roasted snow” on a cedar lounge thread :

    “Possible PBPA transfers will elect a unionist in West Belfast”


    May 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm

  2. Have not seen the figures, but got this from UTV :

    “Foyle’s constituency is now full! Three SDLP, two Sinn Féin and a DUP

    Colum Eastwood (SDLP), Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney & Pat Ramsey of SDLP elected in Foyle on count 7” – a pity, but well done Éamonn.


    May 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm

  3. A good vote for Eamonn.

    Any thoughts on the theory expressed over on cedarlounge that much of the PBPA West Belfast vote is from Eirigi/Irp supporters?

    Mark P

    May 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    • Thanks for that Mark – We will see when the council election results are published if the same people vote PBPA in the Assembly Election and Éirígí in the locals. It is certainly possible. If I lived in West Belfast, I would probably do the same – I do not know who else on the anti-coalition / anti-cuts left is running in the locals. I would not support any left organisation currently running an armed campaign – at the same time any left organisation which says it will “never” resort to arms, or even critically support the use of violence, is either naive or dishonest.


      May 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      • The term “the use of violence” hides more than it says in your last sentence, Tomas. The issue has never been about pacifism in general, but about campaigns of terrorism in the specific. There is nothing naive or dishonest about opposing terrorism.

        I would not regard it as a positive thing to get borrowed votes from supporters of Eirigi/IRSP.

        The Socialist Party and the Workers Party are both running in West Belfast in the local elections. I’m a bit surprised that People Before Profit are not.

        Mark P

        May 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

  4. I too am a bit surprised the PBPA has no local election candidaters in West Belfast. I also think the various parts of the anti-coalition left in Norn Iron – in which I include Éirigí – should open talks about electoral co-operation.


    May 7, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    • There is absolutely no basis for the socialist left to enter into any form of electoral cooperation with Eirigi or the IRSP or with any nationalist or unionist grouping.

      That simply will not happen, under any circumstances.

      Mark P

      May 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

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